France’s Michel Barnier is EC President
José Manuel Barroso’s choice for the Internal Market and Services
Commissioner in the new European Commission.

The new commission must gain approval from the
European Parliament before it takes office for a term running until
31 October 2014. The vote is scheduled to take place on 26

The appointment will raise further fears about
the future of IFRS in Europe as France has been one of the member
states most critical of the international standards.

The French have been one of the main forces
behind recent political pressure on the International Accounting
Standards Board (IASB), which manifested itself in a hasty
amendment to IAS 39 in late 2008.

France was also one of the member states that
prevented the EC from fast-tracking endorsement of the IASB’s new
financial instruments classification and measurement standard IFRS
9 – a move that has been met with disappointment by much of the
accounting profession.

Speaking with The Accountant
recently, Federation of European Accountants (Fédération des
Experts Comptables Européens – FEE) president Hans van Damme said
he did not know how much the new internal markets commissioner
would want to exercise influence on accounting standards.

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“But we at FEE are convinced that standards
need to be set by a global standards setter who is both independent
and accountable,” van Damme said.